Glial cell diversification in the rat optic nerve

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Science  17 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4897, pp. 1450-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.2648568


A central challenge in developmental neurobiology is to understand how an apparently homogeneous population of neuroepithelial cells in the early mammalian embryo gives rise to the great diversity of nerve cells (neurons) and supporting cells (glial cells) in the mature central nervous system. Because the optic nerve is one of the several types of glial cells but no intrinsic neurons, it is an attractive place to investigate how neuroepithelial cells diversify. Studies of developing rat optic nerve cells in culture suggest that both cell-cell interactions and intrinsic cellular programs play important parts in glial cell diversification.

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